Students enrolled in the Administration of Higher Education program are required to complete a practicum experience, which is designed to link theoretical issues in practice and in the classroom to problems and concerns encountered by students in a field setting. Students will select a field setting and gain practical, hands-on work experience under the guidance of a master's level or higher site supervisor.
The practicum experience consists of two 3-credit courses--Practicum I and Practicum II--taken over an academic year (one course per semester) combined with 300 total work hours in the field (150 per semester). Students typically spend 10 hours per week working at a local college or university in an academic or student affairs setting. Students formally apply for the practicum experience and consult with their advisor regarding field placement.
If a student has three or more continuous years of full-time higher education administration experience in the field, he/she may petition to have the practicum requirement waived. To be considered for a waiver, students must complete a Practicum Waiver Form at the point of entry into the Administration of Higher Education Program; waiver forms will be reviewed by program faculty. Students should discuss their work history with a faculty advisor prior to filling out the Practicum Waiver Form. Overall, the practicum experience is strongly encouraged to gain firsthand experience on the inner operations of an existing office, to experience the development and ownership of one or more projects, to test potential career interests, and to develop self-confidence as a future administrator.
Yes, if the practicum is waived with the consent of the program director, two additional classes must be taken to fulfill the six-credit requirement.
Students are allowed to choose whether they want to stay at the same site for both semesters or intern at two separate sites.
Students may not use their current place of employment (office/department) in fulfillment of the practicum requirement. Based on approval from their practicum supervisor, they may, however, work at their current institution provided the practicum experience is an office/department in which they do not currently work (or have not worked in the past). In general, students are strongly encouraged to obtain a practicum placement both outside their current functional area and outside of the institution at which they work. Obtaining a practicum outside the current place of employment (a) ensures students have broad exposure to multiple functional areas outside of their own work; (b) eliminates the risk of role conflict and ambiguity, which can often be introduced into the work environment when there is an unclear distinction between practicum-related work and the work for which one is currently being evaluated and paid; and (c) provides the kind of objective supervision experience that comes with working in a new setting under a new supervisor.
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